495 butterfly species have been found in Texas over the last 130 years (a little under 3 percent of the known world butterfly fauna). Eastern and Western species plus periodic colonists from tropical forests to the South all converge in Texas and result in the greatest number of butterflies found in any of the United States.
Butterflies evolved from moths sometime between 245 million years ago (when the oldest fossil moths were preserved in Triassic rocks) and 110 million years ago (when the oldest butterfly parts were preserved in Cretaceous amber). By 40 million years ago the major family groups of butterflies are found in Eocene rocks.
The 70 million year old snout butterflies that flew in the Cretaceous with dinosaurs were very similar to those that swarm in Texas today.